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Los Angeles’ only Maitre Écailler (Shellfish Master) and owner of The Oyster Gourmet, Christophe Happillon, is ready to prove that “oysters are the new sushi” at The DTLA Oyster Festival on October 24 and 25 from 12pm-6pm. This special culinary pop-up will bring together oyster farmers from across the country for a celebration of all-things-oyster at Grand Central Market.
The two-day affair will be an opportunity for Market visitors to taste their way through oyster varieties hailing from various parts of the country, or what Happillon calls “merroir” (a play on the French word “terroir” used by winemakers to describe “a sense of place”). Visitors will have the chance to buy $2 oysters directly from these participating farms:
-Hama Hama from Washington State: the oldest oyster farm on the West Coast (active
-Sol Azul Seafarms based in Baja California: in operation within the El Vizcaino
Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
-Grassy Bar Oysters from Morro Bay, Central California (active since 2009)
-Morro Bay Oyster Company "Pacific Gold” oysters from young, media-savvy startup
oyster farmer Neal Maloney
-Rock Harbor Oysters from a small family farm in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
"I'm very excited to connect oyster-lovers in LA with these great oyster farmers at what we hope is an event that will grow into a large-scale, annual festival," said Happillon.
The weekend will also include a series of free, hands-on Oyster Shucking 101 workshops led by Happillon, who will personally teach 10 people at a time how to shuck and serve oysters on the half-shell. Pre-registration for these workshops can be found on EventBrite. In addition, informal conversations with Happillon, the guest farmers and Norman Abell (Acacia Pacific Aquaculture) over the course of the weekend will cover topics such as “merroir,” sustainability of oyster aquaculture and proper oyster selection and handling.
The Oyster Gourmet will be selling an assortment of French wines to accompany the oysters, as well as its regular menu offerings throughout the weekend.
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